Welcome to Tokusatsu Gesundheit, where I didn’t feel like spending my beautiful day off reading a movie script this week. Instead, we’ll be checking back in with Uchu Sentai Kyuranger, now approximately halfway through its run.
The Kyuranger team is now full assembled (and then some) and deep into its war with Jark Matter! They unlocked new and more weapons and zords, they’ve blown up at least two high ranking Jark Matter generals, and they’re well on their way to freeing the galaxy.
“And Then Some?”
“Kyuranger” is kind of a pun in Japanese, as “Kyu” can apparently mean sphere (what they transform with), savior (what they are), star sign (what they are themed on), or nine (how many rangers they started with). However, like most every Sentai since 1992’s Zyuranger introduced its DragonRanger (known in the U.S. as “Tommy the Green Ranger”), it has added extras and the count is up to a truly excessive twelve Power Rangers.
- This series sets the record for number of Rangers in a season. The previous holder was 2004’s Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, which had eleven members…three of whom only appeared once each.
- The three additional rangers – Ryu Commander, Koguma Skyblue, and Houou Soldier – cover three different standard types of “Sixth Ranger”: Ryu Commader is the team’s mentor given the ability to Morph, Skyblue is a literal child, and Soldier is an ancient and highly experienced warrior who no one had heard of until he showed up. I fully expect that a 13th Ranger would be a bad guy turned good, just to complete the bingo card.
- Houou Soldier’s personal mecha, Gigant Houou, has a truly excessive three-stage combination sequence.
- I actually genuinely enjoy Houou Soldier’s arc so far, having to get used to the fact that (after centuries in cryosleep) he’s no longer the leader of the rebellion, no longer the only Kyuranger, and that he has to trust his newfound teammates to handle themselves and not die.
- The series does a decent job juggling its massive cast, sending away teams of Rangers off on side missions that can mostly be fulfilled off-screen while still advancing the plot with regularity.
The series is still pretty great, and since I’m still only about halfway through its predecessor, I’d definitely call it an improvement over last year.
Come Back Next Week for a New Strange Times & Places!